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The Obamas pick a Portuguese water dog named Bo as the first dog

April 12, 2009 | 12:10 am

Bo_obama_water_dog Usually leaks are bad things when the subject is puppies, or the White House, but yesterday a cute leak squirted out from 1600 Pennsylvania, the news that its newest resident is a Portuguese water dog that the Obama girls have named Bo.

The Washington Post, who has been hot on the trail of this all-important story got the poop on the pup:

The little guy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog given to the Obama girls as a gift by that Portuguese water dog-lovin' senator himself, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. The girls named it Bo — and let it be noted that you learned that here first. Malia and Sasha chose the name, because their cousins have a cat named Bo and because first lady Michelle Obama's father was nicknamed Diddley, a source said. (Get it? Bo . . . Diddley?)

Bo's a handsome little guy. Well suited for formal occasions at the White House, he's got tuxedo-black fur, with a white chest, white paws and a rakish white goatee.

President Barack Obama and the first Lady have been barraged with questions about the pooch ever since it became known that the girls were promised a dog if Mr. Obama won the election.

More, including a photo of the Obamas with Bo at the White House, after the jump.

Bo_obama_first_dog Although having a pet is a first for the first family, the Obamas are Bo's second family. When the puppy's original family couldn't take care of him, none other than Senator Ted  Kennedy (who owns two Water dogs) found a new home for the pup with the Obamas.

Despite the fact that this news came out a few days before it was scheduled to be formally announced, when Michelle Obama spoke to People in February, she said that April would be the month that her daughters would get their pet.

Here's a sample of a typical family conversation on the matter: "So Sasha says, 'April 1st.' I said, 'April.' She says, 'April 1st.' It's, like, April!," Mrs. Obama recalls. "Got to do it after spring break. You can't get a new dog and then go away for a week."

In January Mr. Obama said on a Sunday morning talk show that the family had narrowed down their choice between a Labradoodle and a Portuguese water dog. Most assumed that the Obamas were attempting to find a hypoallergenic breed to appease Malia's allergies, but the president of the Portuguese Water Dog Association told USA Today that such a dog doesn't exist. "There really is no hypoallergenic dog. We tell people to spend time around the dogs to make sure they're going to be OK. The hair might not bother them, but the saliva might."

Looks like that Water dog's saliva was fine. Sorry, Labradoodles.

-- Tony Pierce

The Obama family gets to know their Portuguese water dog, which daughters Sasha and Malia have named Bo. The puppy was a gift from Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has three "Porties." A few weeks ago, there was a secret get-acquainted session with Bo and the Obama family at the White House.  White House photo by Pete Souza

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